Decades of social media and the mass narcissism that predates it has created a technopriest caste that aggressively seeks opportunities to summon their entire cathedral to banish heretics. Any attempt to reason with these zealots requires an initial payment of your public image as you will get branded as a misogynist, racist, and privileged. That’s a fairly heavy buy-in… but only if you still believe in old public relations. ProteinWorld’s trolling of is demonstrating a radically new brand of public relations: if analyzing and penetrating filter bubbles becomes too expensive, provoke the filter bubble and steer its reaction for your benefit. Here’s how it works.
Let’s say you sell product A that is designed for an approximation of group X. Figuring out where group X is located and how to reach them is expensive. There is also an inherent group Y that will not only absolutely hate product A, but will go out of their way to derail you. More often than not, group Y doesn’t actually hate product A, but they hate the idea that the group X that they do hate might have a new tool in their ideological war with group Y. Group Y will then engage in a Bush-style preemptive attack to minimize the perceived benefits of product A as a means of dehumanizing group X.
This dynamic mire of ideological petulance, henceforth known as the background ideological war, (BIW) is traditionally handled by public relations teams who try to carefully tiptoe around these landmines as they appear. In the old public relations, spending a tremendous amount of money on market discovery and public relations is the only way to avoid this outcome In the new public relations, you realize that this BIW exists within all actions of the market. Instead of trying to find out who is in group X and who is in group Y in advance, you release your product and then intentionally irritate the first person who expresses displeasure of product A on social media.
The person who expresses displeasure is familiar with the BIW and has, most likely, already established lines and bounties regarding the rules of engagement. That person might not have identified as group Y, but that is not important since, due to the mechanics of social media, that person will instinctively put out the klaxon call designed to attract group Y. (This impulse is traditionally known as “raising awareness”, which is the postmodernists version of praying to nonexistent deities) The old public relations believes this approach to be a problem. The new public relations knows this is the approach saves money, time, and has far greater efficiency in spurring consumption.
Group Y will never be your customers to begin with because they have already associated it with the BIW long before you even got around to making product A. In fact, Group Y and group X might have already self-isolated from one another due to the BIW. By irritating group Y, more of group Y will join in and engage in their daily social media outrage ritual of retweeting, blogging, public shaming, and photoshop work. This outrage props up your SEO, your trending ranking, and your overall presence at a minimal cost.
As the outrage circulates, fringe members of group X will catch wind of this and rally around your product as a newest front in the BIW. They’ll sound their klaxon call and attract gradually more moderate members that align with their filter bubble. Group X will reveal themselves by self-organizing in relation to your product.
As the outrage permeates the internet, all of it gets logged, analyzed for sentiment, and categorized in ways that allow your company to pick up the pieces afterwards. Instead of trying to anticipate who your market it, you exploit the BIW to force the market to self-organize in relation to your product and then analyze that self-organization to discover your markets.